Big picture: Can Bangladesh make a comeback?
The New Zealand juggernaut rolled into Chennai but in typical Kiwi style, it was a quiet entrance. New Zealand defeated England and Netherlands easily and will now face Bangladesh, recovering from a big defeat against England. The only saving grace for Bangladesh is the Chennai pitch which is likely to help the spinners, but many of the New Zealand players have IPL experience so they will know what to expect at this venue.
New Zealand has had many outstanding performers in these matches, especially Rachin Ravindra and Devon Conway, who scored brilliant centuries against England. Will Young and Tom Latham scored crucial runs against Netherlands while Mitchell Santner also had a brilliant all-round performance.
He has other aces up his sleeve against Bangladesh. Ish Sodhi may be included in the playing eleven after taking six wickets against Bangladesh in Dhaka a few weeks ago. In any case, both sides will keep an eye on their spin stock.
Bangladesh’s big defeat against England undone much of their good work against Afghanistan in the first match. The pitch was certainly different between the two matches in Dharamsala, but Bangladesh were not really suited to the conditions. His insistence on bowling outside the off-stump cost him as he did not get any wickets on that bowling line. Taskin Ahmed bowled only six overs, Shakib Al Hasan completed his ten overs early and the excessive use of offspin against left-handed batsmen was a harsh strategy that Bangladesh would not want to repeat.
He will also have to sort out his batting line-up and answer questions especially about the opening pair and the lower middle order. Tanzeed Hasan has not scored runs in two innings so far, but it is still a small sample to test the new opener. Still, the World Cup campaign has its own challenges for Bangladesh, so it wouldn’t be a big surprise if they send Mehidy Hasan Miraz to open along with Liton Das. In that case, Mahmudullah and Nasum Ahmed are candidates to return to the lower middle order. Left-arm spinner Nasum will ensure more depth in the spin department while Mahmudullah can add batting experience on the tricky Chepauk pitch.
Bangladesh has very fond memories against New Zealand in subcontinent conditions, having defeated them 4-0 and 3-0 on home soil in the last 13 years. But on current form and especially in the World Cup, New Zealand is a strong contender.
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The toss could now be between Glenn Phillips and Mark Chapman as Williamson returns to the New Zealand line-up after nine months. Sodhi’s name also comes up on the Chepauk pitch which is helpful for spinners.
New Zealand (probable): 1 Devon Conway, 2 Will Young, 3 Kane Williamson (c), 4 Rachin Ravindra, 5 Tom Latham (wk), 6 Daryl Mitchell, 7 Glenn Phillips, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Mark Henry, 10 Lockie Ferguson/Ish Sodhi, 11 Trent Boult
A brave team management would pick Tanzid despite the low score. Otherwise, Mehdi is in line as an opening batsman. New Zealand’s left-handed batsman Mahedi Hasan can also be kept in the line-up.
Bangladesh (probable): 1 Tanzeed Hasan, 2 Liton Das, 3 Nazmul Hussain Shanto, 4 Shakib Al Hasan (captain), 5 Tauheed Hridoy, 6 Mushfiqur Rahim (wicketkeeper), 7 Mehdi Hasan, 8 Mahedi Hasan, 9 Taskin Ahmed, 10 Shoriful Islam, 11 Mustafizur Rahman/Nasum Ahmed
Pitch and conditions: Spin to win at Chepauk
India’s spin trio had taken 6 wickets for 104 runs against Australia in the last match in Chepauk. Both sides will look to create a spin attack whenever they bat in this game. India chased the target easily against Australia but teams will have to be cautious of bowlers who can move the ball. The weather is likely to be mostly dry, with little chance of rain.
Stats and Trivia: New Zealand leads Bangladesh in World Cup
“I think certainly in the subcontinent, they (Bangladesh) are very familiar with these conditions and have a lot of match-winning players in their team.”
new zealand captain kane williamson Bangladesh’s challenge lies ahead from their side
“It’s always challenging to deal with the new ball. If we get off to a good start, it definitely helps the team. I think it’s also important to bounce back after losing two or three early wickets. We need a big Have to concentrate on scoring.” A difficult situation.”
Bangladesh vice-captain Nazmul Hussain Shanto He is not getting a good start with bat or ball.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo’s Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84